Mathieu Van der Poel

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Mathieu is really that good and David van der Poel is really that normal. You would think if they both were doping, we would see something like the Schleck brothers, but nope.
I don't see what his brother's performance has to do with anything. Maybe he doesn't dope, maybe he doesn't respond, or maybe not even doping can make him very good. The Schlecks and the Yates are actually quite unusual. Philippe Gilbert's brother not being good on a bike doesn't make Gilbert less suspicious. Prudencio Indurain, Juraj Sagan, Antonio Nibali and many others all say hi.
 
I don't see what his brother's performance has to do with anything. Maybe he doesn't dope, maybe he doesn't respond, or maybe not even doping can make him very good. The Schlecks and the Yates are actually quite unusual. Philippe Gilbert's brother not being good on a bike doesn't make Gilbert less suspicious. Prudencio Indurain, Juraj Sagan, Antonio Nibali and many others all say hi.
I forgot about Prudencio! LOL

Siblings being vastly different in ability is only a sign that they are vastly different in ability.
 
Schurter had a ... MVDP-like ... record in VTT, including a perfect season in 2017. Look at his palmares from 2012 until last year if you want to see dominance. He's probably just dropped off a bit this year from age. He's 33 or so. I used to follow VTT a little closer, but in the past there's been guys and women like him who could just ride away from the field, though he took it to another level. Clean? Unlikely.

MVDP's dominance in 3 disciplines this year -- he's basically been on a peak for 8 months now -- astounds me. I don't know what to make of it, frankly -- it's possible that overall, the field is cleaner and he is just that much better on a sub-threshold program.
 
Schurter had a ... MVDP-like ... record in VTT, including a perfect season in 2017. Look at his palmares from 2012 until last year if you want to see dominance. He's probably just dropped off a bit this year from age. He's 33 or so. I used to follow VTT a little closer, but in the past there's been guys and women like him who could just ride away from the field, though he took it to another level. Clean? Unlikely.

MVDP's dominance in 3 disciplines this year -- he's basically been on a peak for 8 months now -- astounds me. I don't know what to make of it, frankly -- it's possible that overall, the field is cleaner and he is just that much better on a sub-threshold program.
Just curious what you mean by this. Not a full-blown program? Thx.

Great point about the length of time he's been in dominant shape! Incredible.
 
Apr 25, 2011
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I don't see what his brother's performance has to do with anything. Maybe he doesn't dope, maybe he doesn't respond, or maybe not even doping can make him very good. The Schlecks and the Yates are actually quite unusual. Philippe Gilbert's brother not being good on a bike doesn't make Gilbert less suspicious. Prudencio Indurain, Juraj Sagan, Antonio Nibali and many others all say hi.
So you're admitting genes play a huge role, technically speaking.
 
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Just curious what you mean by this. Not a full-blown program? Thx.

Great point about the length of time he's been in dominant shape! Incredible.
By sub-threshold, meaning micro-dosing to avoid levels of EPO etc that could trigger red flags. So yes, not a full blown program. My personal belief, not based on anything except a feeling, is that the peloton is cleaner. My only evidence is that it's been a long time since we've seen a top level rider taken down, Froome notwithstanding.
 
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By sub-threshold, meaning micro-dosing to avoid levels of EPO etc that could trigger red flags. So yes, not a full blown program. My personal belief, not based on anything except a feeling, is that the peloton is cleaner. My only evidence is that it's been a long time since we've seen a top level rider taken down, Froome notwithstanding.
Cool, thanks. Personally, for musing about the relative cleanliness of the peloton, I’d look at the level of performance over the season, which is admittedly very challenging to measure or approximate. Also I think the emergence of young talent might be an indicator, but while knows.

I think the powers that be have far too much incentive to cover up positives from the big riders, and the relative lack of busts could easily be an artifact of "we've learned our lesson". Froome a perfect case in point.

I would say that the thing that made me wonder about it this year is the seemingly more reasonable performances we saw in the Tour this year. But I think that bears more scrutiny than I’ve given it.

It is nice to see seemingly talented riders emerge instead of obvious frauds popping up late in their careers. It does give me, if not hope for a cleaner peloton, at least excitement about watching some fantastic battles between real talents over the next 10 years.
 
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Cool, thanks. Personally, for musing about the relative cleanliness of the peloton, I’d look at the level of performance over the season, which is admittedly very challenging to measure or approximate. Also I think the emergence of young talent might be an indicator, but while knows.

I think the powers that be have far too much incentive to cover up positives from the big riders, and the relative lack of busts could easily be an artifact of "we've learned our lesson". Froome a perfect case in point.

I would say that the thing that made me wonder about it this year is the seemingly more reasonable performances we saw in the Tour this year. But I think that bears more scrutiny than I’ve given it.

It is nice to see seemingly talented riders emerge instead of obvious frauds popping up late in their careers. It does give me, if not hope for a cleaner peloton, at least excitement about watching some fantastic battles between real talents over the next 10 years.
I agree -- All the young or youngish riders who have left a mark this season were pegged early on for greatness or have shown steady progression -- Bernal, Sivakov, Ciccone, MVDP, WVA, Alaphilippe (still 26 or maybe just 27), Remco, Ivan Sosa, Pogacar, Lambrecht, Carapaz. Roglic etc -- there really haven't been any "Where'd HE come from" moments.

In fact looking back on that list, it's incredible how many strong young riders there are right now. I'm under no illusions that they're all clean, but "cleanish" would be OK with me, tbh, because one bust triggers a domino effect of "well, if he was dirty, than so must rider x,y.z"

Regarding a coverup of positives -- that's something we can only speculate on. I'm probably naive but I'd like to think it's not the UCI's modus operandi.
 
I agree -- All the young or youngish riders who have left a mark this season were pegged early on for greatness or have shown steady progression -- Bernal, Sivakov, Ciccone, MVDP, WVA, Alaphilippe (still 26 or maybe just 27), Remco, Ivan Sosa, Pogacar, Lambrecht, Carapaz. Roglic etc -- there really haven't been any "Where'd HE come from" moments.

In fact looking back on that list, it's incredible how many strong young riders there are right now. I'm under no illusions that they're all clean, but "cleanish" would be OK with me, tbh, because one bust triggers a domino effect of "well, if he was dirty, than so must rider x,y.z"

Regarding a coverup of positives -- that's something we can only speculate on. I'm probably naive but I'd like to think it's not the UCI's modus operandi.
It is far more likely, that young talent has an easier way pushing through, because the rest of the peloton is a lot cleaner, instead of assuming these young guys are doped out of their eyeballs. As if along with them, came a new breed of dope that the old guys don't have access to.

Looking at this graph, it makes you wonder what happened between 2007 and 2008, concerning average race speed:

 
I agree -- All the young or youngish riders who have left a mark this season were pegged early on for greatness or have shown steady progression -- Bernal, Sivakov, Ciccone, MVDP, WVA, Alaphilippe (still 26 or maybe just 27), Remco, Ivan Sosa, Pogacar, Lambrecht, Carapaz. Roglic etc -- there really haven't been any "Where'd HE come from" moments.

In fact looking back on that list, it's incredible how many strong young riders there are right now. I'm under no illusions that they're all clean, but "cleanish" would be OK with me, tbh, because one bust triggers a domino effect of "well, if he was dirty, than so must rider x,y.z"

Regarding a coverup of positives -- that's something we can only speculate on. I'm probably naive but I'd like to think it's not the UCI's modus operandi.
Yes, I think maybe you’re naive on that point—it’s certainly well beyond speculation. We have several episodes where the UCI has actively covered up positives...Armstrong and Contador for starters, plus charges of attempted bribes, etc. When positive tests of top riders magically disappear...I’m not buying it.
 
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That's not necessarily what i was getting at, but i do remember there was a major drop in averages years ago. But that was probably earlier (maybe 2nd part of the 90s). Also strange PCS would include that data if they don't have the numbers. it's literally what their website is about.
 
That's not necessarily what i was getting at, but i do remember there was a major drop in averages years ago. But that was probably earlier (maybe 2nd part of the 90s). Also strange PCS would include that data if they don't have the numbers. it's literally what their website is about.
There was a slight drop in 2007 that continued into 2008 due to Op Puerto and the French ADA under Pierre Bordry doing testing at French races instead of the UCI resulting in people actually getting caught.

In 2009 the UCI brought it back in house after dragging Bordry's name through the mud and it was back to business as usual.
 
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Scooping up handfuls of stages at lesser races is just going to put a larger target on his back in Yorkshire, but it probably doesn't matter given that no one can hold his wheel much less escape him.
 
Brabantse and Amstel were hardly lesser races.

Even with VDP's genetics things are getting crazy now, he's almost toying with Schurter, days before riding some decent sprinters clean off the wheel in a sprint FFS. Mathieu is the only 5 star contender for Worlds. I'd say he's probably the only 4 star contender as well.

My rough ranking:

* *** *- VDP

*** - Sagan, WVA, Evenepoel, Stybar
** - Kristoff, Alaphilippe
* - everyone else
 
Main things to bear in mind for the worlds are the length of the race (284km) and the profile of the finishing circuit.

Taken together, these probably point towards a flanders/fleche wallonne type, or possibly an all-rounder style GT type, probably an older rider with the endurance necessary to make it to the latter stages in good nick.

I'd say the length possibly counts against the younger guys like MVDP and WVA and certainly Evanepoel although who knows....it would be daft to rule them out completely. Id say Nibali, with the strength and expereince and a bit of a one-day pedigree, is well suited. Sagan always a factor in the worlds too.
 
WVA ruled himself out of a Worlds participation even before his crash.

Although to be fair he wasn't supposed to start the Tour also and he did it with excellent results (barring the crash).
 
Brabantse and Amstel were hardly lesser races.
Who called those lesser races? I'm talking about Norway and ToB. The peloton has a short memory and alaphillipe's display at the tdf might have outshone mvdp's amstel, taking some of the attention off him. But if he comes out and smashes the warm up races he will return to the forefront of everyone's mind.
 
Seems he might be human...
Yes, in the sense he can get sick. He did claim to see lower power numbers than he should be capable of on that final climb. I for one believe him. How much better could he have gone? Only his entourage knows for sure (should be easy to estimate on a climb that steep with a trustworthy power meter). He stopped short of asserting he could have won, which wouldn't have been a very polite thing to say. In any case, it's a disappointment because we can't judge him (or, since this is the Clinic, his cleanliness) based on his off days.
 
I agree -- All the young or youngish riders who have left a mark this season were pegged early on for greatness or have shown steady progression -- Bernal, Sivakov, Ciccone, MVDP, WVA, Alaphilippe (still 26 or maybe just 27), Remco, Ivan Sosa, Pogacar, Lambrecht, Carapaz. Roglic etc -- there really haven't been any "Where'd HE come from" moments.

In fact looking back on that list, it's incredible how many strong young riders there are right now. I'm under no illusions that they're all clean, but "cleanish" would be OK with me, tbh, because one bust triggers a domino effect of "well, if he was dirty, than so must rider x,y.z"

Regarding a coverup of positives -- that's something we can only speculate on. I'm probably naive but I'd like to think it's not the UCI's modus operandi.
Pantani came 2nd at the Giro and 3rd at the Tour at 24yo in 1994, Ullrich demolished the Tour by nearly 10 minutes at 23yo in 1997 and Frank Vandenbroucke was 24yo when he annihilated the field at Liege and won stages for fun at the Vuelta in 1999.

These are examples off the top of my head.
 
Pantani came 2nd at the Giro and 3rd at the Tour at 24yo in 1994, Ullrich demolished the Tour by nearly 10 minutes at 23yo in 1997 and Frank Vandenbroucke was 24yo when he annihilated the field at Liege and won stages for fun at the Vuelta in 1999.

These are examples off the top of my head.
Of course -- I'm not trying to say these guys are clean, just that they haven't produced alien performances out of the blue. They have lived up to their billing and their records as juniors/espoirs etc.
 

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